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Tarik's three stars: Caps' top line dazzles in Edmonton

Tarik's three stars: Caps' top line dazzles in Edmonton

The Oilers seized an early two-goal lead, but Evgeny Kuznetsov and the injury-depleted Caps finished strong, scoring five unanswered goals to secure a 5-2 victory over Connor McDavid and the Oilers at Rogers Place. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak and sent Kuzy and Co. to Calgary for Sunday’s game with some much-needed momentum.

RELATED: OILERS AVOID BLATANT TOO MANY MEN PENALTY AGAINST CAPS

Tarik’s three stars of the night:

1-Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

Kuznetsov scored twice in the third period to lift the Caps. His first goal put the visitors up 3-2. His second one clinched the victory—and landed him on the highlight reel. No. 92 toe-dragged Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson, took the puck to the net and deftly deposited it between Cam Talbot’s pad and the goal post. It was Kuznetsov’s first multi goal game since Feb. 22 vs. Philly.

2-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

A day after making headlines for buying a homeless man a sweater, coat and hat, the Caps’ captain made headlines for his performance on the ice. Ovechkin racked up three assists, including a slick pass to Kuznetsov (two goals) for the Caps’ third goal 30 seconds into the third period. The last time Ovechkin had three helpers? Nov. 2, 2014 vs. Arizona. 

MORE CAPITALS: OVECHKIN SPEAKS TO REPORTERS ON HIS GIFT TO HOMELESS MAN

3- Devante Smith-Pelly, Capitals

In his first game on the top line, DSP had his best game as a Capital. He scored his first goal of the season in the closing seconds of the first period to cut the Oilers’ lead to 2-1. Smith-Pelly also blocked four shots, including three in the opening 20 minutes. With 14 blocked shots on the season, he’s got more blocks than any forward on the Capitals.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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2018 NHL Draft: Caps add 7 prospects, 4 from WHL

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 NHL Draft: Caps add 7 prospects, 4 from WHL

The Caps made seven selections in the 2018 Draft this weekend. The group featured three defensemen, three forwards and a goalie. Interestingly, a couple of the picks have fathers who enjoyed lengthy NHL careers.

Meet the newest prospects:

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.


2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.


3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.


4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.


6th round, 161st overall (from Vancouver): D Alex Kannok-Leipert, WHL, 5'11", 194 pounds

The Caps certainly saw something they liked in Kannok-Leipert as they traded up from 186 to get him. That pick, along with a sixth-round pick in 2019, went to Vancouver.


7th round, 217th overall: F Eric Florchuk, WHL, 6'2", 174 pounds

Florchuk was taken with the last pick of the draft.

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”

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